Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 28, 1914
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Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 28, 1914

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 28, 1914, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, October 28, 1914 Author: Various Release Date: March 23, 2009 [EBook #28392] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK PUNCH ***
Produced by Punch, or the London Charivari, Neville Allen, Malcolm Farmer and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI. VOL. 147.
OCTOBER28, 1914.
CHARIVARIA. Reports that Germany is not best pleased with Austria-Hungary are peculiarly persistent just now. There would indeed seem to be good grounds for Germany's displeasure, for a gentleman just returned from Budapest says that the Hungarian MINISTER OF THEINTERIORhas actually issued an official circular to the mayors and prefects throughout the land enjoining upon them the duty of treating citizens of hostile states sojourning in their midst with humanity and sympathy.
Inquisitive people are asking, "What is the KAISER'Squarrel with the Bavarians?" He is reported to have said, the other day, "My wish for the English is that one day they will have to fight the Bavarians."
The King of BAVARIA, by the way, has been operated upon for a swelling of the shoulder blade. We are glad to hear that he is progressing favourably, and it is hoped that the swelling will not, as in the case of another distinguished patient, spread to the head.
For the following little story we are indebted to the German army:—"Fears are now entertained of an epidemic breaking out among the German troops in Antwerp, as, the German artillery having destroyed the municipal waterworks, there is no drinkable water available."
Several striking suggestions have reached the authorities in connection with the danger from Zeppelins. One is that St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey should be covered over with dark cloths every night, and that shoddy reproductions of these edifices should be run up in another part of London, and be brilliantly illuminated so as to attract the attention of the enemy.
Another method of confusing the airships, it is pointed out, would be to drain the Thames, and to flood a great thoroughfare, say that from the Bank to Shepherd's Bush, and to place barges on it so that it would be mistaken for the river and cause the airmen to lose their bearings.
Meanwhile the authorities who are responsible for the safety of London are said to be anxious to hear of an intrepid airman who will undertake to paint out the moon.
There are, of course, always pessimists among us, but we would beg the editor ofThe Barmouth and County Advertiser try not to be downhearted. Impressed, no doubt, by the recent sale of two German to warships to Turkey, he gives voice to the following opinion in a leader:—"Our Fleet to-day is supreme; but no one knows when an auction may take place...."
It has suddenly become more imperative than ever that the War should be finished quickly. A publishing firm has issued the first volume of a history of the war with an announcement that it will be completed in four volumes at a fixed price. If the war should last longer than a year the last volume threatens to achieve such a size that the publisher would either have to go back on his word or be ruined.
The L.C.C. has just produced a new, revised, up-to-date and fully detailed map of London, and the German War Office is furious to think that it has been put to the needless expense of compiling a similar document itself.
It has been pointed out that the War has had a most satisfactory effect on criminality. And even in civil actions witnesses would seem to be turning over a new leaf, and even insisting on giving evidence against themselves. For example, we learn fromThe Northwood Gazettethat a van driver, charged the other day with damaging a motor-car, said in cross-examination:—"I pulled up about fifteen years after the accident happened."
In spite of the War our Law Courts pursue the even tenour of their way, and the Divisional Court has just been asked to decide the important question, Is ice-cream meat? Personally we should say that, where it is made from unfiltered water, the answer is in the affirmative. "DE WET OF THE SEA."
Daily Mail.
We should have thought this well-known characteristic was hardly worth mentioning. "DISGUISED SPIES" was the title of a paragraph in a contemporary last week. These cases must surely be exceptional. We always think of spies as wearing a recognised uniform, or at least a label to indicate their profession. "CORK STEAMER SUNK BY MINE." Evening News.
This war is shattering many of our illusions.
Mr. FREDEMNEY, who is now appearing at the Coliseum, would like it to be known that he is not an Alien Emney.
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"IT'S ALL VERY WELL, JARGE,FOR YOU T'SAY WHY DON'T KITCHENER AN' FRENCH DO THIS AN'THAT?BUT WHATISAY IS,IT DON'T DO FOR YOU AN'ME T'SAY ANYTHINK WHAT MIGHT EMBARRASS EITHER OF'EM."
The New Censorship. "The country in which so much interest centres may be briefly described. From near —— to —— and onwards in a south-easterly direction there is a low range of chalky hills, closely resembling our South Downs. There is no harm in saying definitely that not a German is on this line." Daily Telegraph. No apparent harm, but you can't be too careful. If the news gets round to the Germans that they are not there, they might at once set about to correct this defect.
The Tandem. "Mr. F. Marsham-Townshend's Polygamist, 3, 6-2, E. Crickmere 0 Mr. F. Marsham-Townshend's Polygamist, 3, 6-2, O. Grant 0"
Irish Times. Racing, you will be glad to be reminded, still goes on, but of course only for the sake of creating employment. By putting two jockeys upon the same horse the desired end is attained more easily. CANUTE AND THE KAISER. [Thoughts extracted from a sea-shell (howitzer pattern) by Our Own Special Conchologist on the Belgian Coast.] There was a King by name CANUTE (In ancient jargon known as KNUT), And I, for one, will not dispute The kingly figure which he cut; A god in mufti—so his courtiers said— Whatever thing he chose to have a try at, He did it (loosely speaking) on his head, By just remarking, "Fiat!"
One day they sat him by the sea To put his virtue to the test, And there, without conviction, he Threw off the following, by request:— "Ocean," he said, "I see your waves are wet" (Bravely he spoke, but in his heart he funked 'em), "So to your further progress here I set A period, orpunctum." He knew it wasn't any good Talking like that; and when the foam Made for his feet (he knew it would) He turned at once and made for home; And "I'm no god, but just a man," he cried, "And you, my sycophants, are sorry rotters, Who told your KNUTthat he could dare the tide To damp his heavenly trotters."
The scene was changed. Another strand; Another god (alleged) was there (In spirit, you must understand; His actual frame occurred elsewhere);— "O element designed for German ships, Whose future lies," said he, "upon the water, I strike at England! Ho!" and licked his lips For lust of loot and slaughter. Then by the sea was answer made, And down the wind this word was blown: "Thus far! but here your steps are stayed; England is mine; I guard my own!" And as upon his ear this challenge fell, Out of the deep there also fell upon it, or Close in the neighbourhood, a singing shell From H.M.Mersey, Monitor. And just as old CANUTE(or KNUT) Stopped not to parley when he found His line of exit nearly cut, But moved his feet to drier ground, So too that other Monarch, much concerned About his safety, looked no longer foam-ward, But said, "This sea's too much for me," and turned Strategically home-ward.
O. S.
WAR AND THE HIGH HAND. Scene: A MOTHERS' MEETING. "They do say as this old Keyser or Geyser or whatever 'e calls 'isself be goin' to 'op it." "Afraid of 'is life, if t'other side should win—that it?" "Likely 'e is—an' well may be. T'other side be our side in that case, bain't it?" "That's it. An' it's 'im for 'isself an' the rest for theirselves, from what I can see." "This old Keyser, 'e's to blame for most ev'rythin' happenin' nowadays. Reg'lar firebran' in our midst, 'e do seem " . "Daresay 'e was drove to it, if we could but see all " . "Some woman nagged 'im into it—if you ask me." "They do say 'e craves for peace with 'is whole mind." "Parson 'e says on Sunday as the hypocrit' cries for peace where there is no peace." "This war seems to take people out of their true selves, makin' of 'em ravenin' beasts."
 
"Men, too, as otherwise acts quiet an' well-meanin' enough. You 'eard what Doctor done?" "What 'e done?" "Not to old Sally's son, Jim?" "'Im as 'urted 'is 'and blackberry time—a year ago this very month?" "'Im. Ill unto death, 'e were, with blood poisonin', and Doctor 'e says what a shockin' state 'is blood must 'ave been in for the poison to serve 'im so." "An' old Sally been a-keepin' of 'im ever since. 'Er needle been at it reg'lar, but 'ardly earnin' a livin' wage owin' to the meanness of them who 'as it to pay." "An' a poisoned and, when the worst be over, ain't no bar to the appetite." "Glad she's been to do it sooner than lose 'im, as she lost 'is brother with 'oopin'-cough. " "That must be a matter of twenty-five year ago—before ever Jim was born." "You ain't told us yet, dear, what Doctor done." "I'm comin' to that. Jim, 'e's not without 'is uses an' 'e's more time, like, to read the paper than the other men. So 'e reads the news an' tells it all over at 'Plough an' 'Orses' nights, an' they do say the way 'e urges of the men to 'list is somethin' wonderful." "Not thinkin' of goin' 'isself, of course?" "Ain't 'e 'ad a poisoned 'and? Still, this 'e did; to a lot of chaps as 'eld back 'e says—'If you goes to Doctor to be examined I'll go with you,' 'e says—could a man do more? 'I tell you honest,' 'e says, 'that with my poor 'and I'm a man marked down for stayin' at 'ome, worse luck. What would I give,' 'e says, 'to go forth in the pride of 'ealth, same as you? Still, I'll go to Doctor with the rest of you, if only to show 'ow these things should be done.'" "'Ow many went?" "Three in all, includin' of Jim. 'E led the way up to Doctor's surgery, then 'e waved the others in front of 'im. 'Take the sound men first, Sir,' 'e says, 'an' then, if you'll spare me a minute, I'll take it kind.'" "What did Doctor do?" "Doctor 'e does as Jim says and takes 'im last, after tellin' the other two as they were better at 'ome. 'I been waitin' for you,' 'e says, an' 'e turned on Jim that fierce as never was. 'A 'and as 'as been perfectly well for the last six months to my certain knowledge ain't goin' to prevent you fightin',' he says, 'so off you go an' 'list.'" "Poor old Sally! No one to work for now but just 'erself, then?" "War be an awful thing, it seems, for raisin' the wicked passions in peaceful men. Keyser, Geyser—whatever 'e calls 'isself—and our old Doctor ... it be all the same."
Extract from Fortress Orders at Malta:— "A box containing butchers' implements, and marked with a red cross. Finder should communicate with the D.D.M.S., 28, Strada Britannica, Valletta." If we did not happen to know through our Secret Intelligence Bureau that D.D.M.S. stands for Deputy Director of Medical Services we should suspect that the Germans had been once more using the sign of the Red Cross as a screen for their barbarities.
 
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THE LIMIT. Scene: THECOAST OFBELGIUM. THEKAISER ARE THE WILD WAVES SAYING?'": "'WHAT WILD WAVES 'THUS FAR, AND NO: "WE WERE JUST SAYING, FARTHER!'"
UNDER ONE FLAG. Genial Person (to retired Colonel, who for the past two months has put in fourteen hours a day recruiting). "LOVELY MORNING, SIR. ISEE YOU'RE ON OUR SIDE."
THE WATCH DOGS.
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VI. Dear Charles,—We're tired of this place, so we're going to move on. Some said, "Let's go to Egypt and doze in the sun." Others were for India, and one, having a flame in Guernsey, proposed that the Division might just as well go to the Channel Islands as anywhere else. But what tempted the majority was the thought of a season's shooting without having to pay for so much as a gun licence, and so we decided for the Continent. We gave formal notice to the War Office of our requirements, said we would let them know in due course what time we should want trains, ships and motor omnibuses to start, and asked them to call for our luggage at an hour we would name, indicating that in the case of each man it would not be more than a couple of trunks or so, half-a-dozen odds and ends of smaller bags, and a case of golf clubs. To this the War Office replied that they were in receipt of our favour, thanked us for our kind patronage, assured us of their immediate attention to our esteemed commands on this and all occasions, and begged (positively begged) to be allowed to remain our obedient servants. If then you hear (as you probably will in a few days) of our departure, you will appreciate the exact manner of it: a duly deliberated and quietly dignified excursion, undertaken by us in our own way at our own time, because we happen to feel so inclined and not because we happen to be so ordered. (Speaking in the language of the registered alien, "Yes, I don't think.") Meanwhile we watch with interest the effect of our new recruits upon the battalion as a whole. You will remember that those recruits are from all classes, and the presence of the so-called Non-manual is clearly marked in the daily conversation overheard. Thus in the good old B company you will hear: "'Ere, Bill, where's me pull-through?" "I ain't seen yer ruddy pull-through." "You'm a liar; you've bin and took it." "Get off with yer; I ain't. If yer want a ruddy pull-through, why don't yer pinch Joe's ruddy pull-through? 'E's away on guard." In F Company as now constituted it runs: "Angus, have you seen my pull-through anywhere?" "No, Gerald, I have not." "You are sure you haven't taken it by mistake?" "I assure you I have not; but, if you want a pull-through, I am sure Clement would not mind your borrowing his temporarily." Among our last draft of recruits was a newly-joined officer who had been at the military business before. What he liked about us was that we are Territorials, immune from this new "platoon" system. "I like people," he said, "who call half a company a half-company." He had tried the new business, but couldn't manage it; he could give the "On the left: Form section" all right, but when it came to platoons he would shout, "Form ... " and then could think of nothing better than pontoon or pantaloon. His brother, it appeared, had joined a Territorial regiment up North; being methodical he had read all the letters from the front which have appeared in the Press, and set about equipping himself accordingly. Even if he should lose all except what he stood up in he meant to keep dry and warm; so he scrapped all his shirts, socks, vests and whatnots, and substituted others of monstrous weight and thickness, lined his tunic with fleece, his breeches with waterproof, his puttees with fur, and his boots, it was said, with all three. Within twenty-four hours of completing his fortifications he was sailing for India. We all contemplate that time when our valises shall be, unhappily, no longer with us. The odd things we must still have are: towel, razor, soap, shaving soap, shaving brush, toothbrush, extra boots, socks and so-on's, mess-tin, knife, fork, spoon, revolver, ammunition, compass, clasp-knife, field-service pocket-book, note-books, sketching-books, lamp, flask, bandages, mug and house-wife. These might be accommodated in the haversack or elsewhere, but that all available sites are already occupied by what we, or better still our relatives, friends and acquaintances, consider indispensable, such as pipes, tobacco, matches, compressed victuals and drinks, maps, dictionaries, medicine-chests, chocolate, purses, cheque-books, letter-pads, fountain-pens, fountain-pen fillers, chronometers, electric-torches, charges for same, unpaid bills, unanswered correspondence, sponges, ointments, mittens, bed-socks, camera, boot-brushes, dubbin and spare parts. Obviously one will eliminate (as you were about to write and suggest) the bills and the correspondence, but those, Charles, are the only things that don't occupy room. What else can one eliminate? The only thing is to reform one's life and learn to be a pantechnicon; one may also, with a little ingenuity, use one's clothes to serve a double purpose. I have only got as far as evolving a scheme for tying up all the outlets of my breeches and then filling them with air, so that one leg makes a bolster and the other a pillow—two articles which, you will observe, were omitted from the inventory. By the way, our new officer was only gazetted on the very day he travelled down with us. He started badly with a heavy reverse and casualty list, for we played bridge on the way and he lost his first day's pay, messing allowance and field allowance, all except twopence, which goes (I believe) to income-tax. When we arrived at our billet we found Pay in process. A private, who has a moment or so ago saluted and withdrawn with his pay, seeks re-admission. "Colour-Sergeant!" he says. "What is it?" "I think you have given me sixpence short." To which the brutal Colours replies briefly, "'Op it." Later another private comes. "Colour-Sergeant!" says he. "What is it now?" "I think you have given me sixpence too much." "Come in, my lad, come in," replies the kindly Colours. We were lectured in map-reading and so forth this morning, and were told that, all else failing, we might get our bearings from observing the direction in which the local church pointed. But an active brain suggested that these Germans had no doubt thought of that years and years before and, in order to deceive us, had built their churches with the east windows pointing west. When, the other day, the R.A.M.C. man inspected the feet of the battalion, the same intelligent unit wished to know who had got the first prize and whether for quality or quantity.
Yours, HENRY.
Mary Jane(at climax of fearful story of German spy). "AND WHEN THE POLICE SEARCHED THE CELLARS THEY FOUND ENOUGH AMBITION TO BLOW UP THE WHOLE OFLONDON."
"PROGRESL IN NORTHERN FRANCE. "
Przemysl, however, remains in Galicia.
North Eastern Daily Gazette.
STUDIES IN DISCIPLESHIP. (exploits of the German Wireless Service.In humble imitation of the ) Mr. RAMSAY MACDONALD K and Mr.EIR HARDIE B joined Mr. haveLATCHFORD a recruiting campaign, with most in gratifying results. In the course of one of his speeches Mr. RAMSAYMACDONALDannounced that the experience he had gained while tiger-shooting in India had enabled him to organise an elephant-gun battery, with which he was shortly about to proceed to the front. It is reported that, at the instigation of the Chevalier WILLIAM LEQUEUX, the Republic of San Marino has declared war on Germany, and appointed the Chevalier asgeneralissimoof its forces, which are estimated at 250 men. Great consternation has been caused in Vienna on receipt of the news that, in view of BENTHOVEE'Sfull name beingVANBVEHONETE, and his origin Dutch, he has been removed from the list of belligerent composers and regarded as a neutral by concert-givers in London and Paris. A counter-movement has in consequence been started with the object of treating BEOHTENEVduring the progress of the war.as a hostile alien The transports of enthusiasm caused in Berlin by the announcement that Mr. G. B. SHAWhad decided to be known in future as Mr. BIAHDRENRSHAWhave given place to bitter disappointment on the peremptory denial of the rumour by the famous comedian himself. As a matter of fact he is hesitating between Benckendorff, Balakirev and Bomboudia.
"War F. N. Belgian Manager going home, sold new F. N. Motorbike 2½ H.P. kick starter at cost price."
The starter will probably consider that it is not worth it.
Advt. in "Ceylon Independent."
"A fla da on behalf of the Bel ian refu ees was held at Wimbledon esterda . A rocession
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was formed in front of the Town Hall headed by the High Sheriff of Paris, M. Leo Strachey. " Sunday Chronicle. We welcome M. STRACHEYto England, and trust that he will be impressed by such British institutions (e.g. The Spectator) as he may chance to come across during his stay. THE WHITE MAN'S BURDEN. Who ran to watch how Nancy fell Beneath a storm of shot and shell, And, when she didn't, felt unwell? THEKAISER. Who stimulates his gentle sons To ape the manners of the Huns? Who doesn't feed the Bear with buns? THEKAISER. Who circulates ingenious glosses To minimize his army's losses, And scatters showers of Iron Crosses? THEKAISER. Who suffers agonizing pains When stern necessity constrains The bashing-in of Gothic fanes? THEKAISER. Who has for several weeks of late Omitted to communicate With any foreign potentate? THEKAISER. Who in a cage of steel, we're told, The tides of war about him rolled, Watches the scroll of Fate unfold? THEKAISER.
The Recruit here portrayed, being most anxious to get into KITCHENER'SArmy, is determined to accommodate himself to any conditions as they arise. Officer  formfillin in. "WHAT'S YOUR RELIGION?"
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Zealous Recruit."WELL,WHAT ARE YOU SHORT OF?"
FALSE PRETENCES. Since the War began the military experts have monopolised one corner of the smoke-room. Don't imagine I am going to write about them. It is in the other corner of the smoke-room that the Cheering-Up Association meets. There we all come and relate our business troubles and listen to the troubles of our friends. It is wonderful how consoling other people's troubles are. Robinson brightens perceptibly when he discovers that Jenkins is also heading for the Bankruptcy Court. Of course the talk began with Mitchell's play. It always does. We have followed with tempered interest its pilgrimage from one manager to another these two years. "All U P," groaned Mitchell. "Algernon Princeton had promised faithfully to produce it in October. Now he's closed his theatre. He's a pretty patriot. If it had run—let us put it moderately—two hundred nights I should have made £4,000 clear. American rights would have been worth quite as much. Touring companies in the provinces, Colonial rights, translation rights—why, I should have made ten thousand—no, in business matters one must be accurate—say, twenty thousand. It's all that WILLIAM wasn't over age and hadn't tobacco heart,! If I I'd go and have a pop at him myself." "That's just speculative loss," said Nairn. "Now I've lost an actual income. You men know I'm by way of being a financial authority. Well, who wants financial advice nowadays? I give you my word of honour I've sold nothing since the war began except half-a-dozen articles on the weakness of Germany's financial position. If it is anything like my financial position the war won't last long. I envy Wilson over there. He's got something to sell that's wanted. Nothing like the wholesale woollen business nowadays." Wilson shook his head. "You don't know all," he said. "I don't mind telling you fellows in confidence that I owe over four thousand pounds, and I don't know when I shall be in a position to pay it " . Everyone looked sympathetic, and when Wilson had risen from his seat and walked towards the door there was a general murmur of "Poor fellow, it's hit him very hard." Wilson paused at the door and looked back. "Did I mention," he said, "that I owe that sum to German manufacturers?" It was unanimously voted by the Cheering-Up Association that no club rule was violated when Mitchell hurled a match-stand at the member whom we had been cheering up on false pretences.
THE LAST LINE. III. As our wives remark to each other nowadays over the knitted helmets, "It's extraordinary how dark London is at night." They then drop two and purl two, and add, "Particularly as the evenings are drawing in so." But while they prattle of it thus lightly we (their husbands) are outside in it all, marching ... and wheeling ... and tripping over each other. At what risk to ourselves I will show you. It was Thursday the 22nd, and at six o'clock our Company might have been seen (had there been a better light to see it by) progressing smartly in column of platoons. The shades of night were falling fast as over Regent's Park we passed, and my platoon was marching last, excelsior. As my platoon came opposite our Commanding Officer he gave the order, "About turn." We did so. "Form fours, left"—we made it that. The night fell thicker; I can now speak only for myself and my immediate neighbours. "Right incline"—we inclined rightly. Another "Right incline" and a "Halt," and then the C.O. came up to look for us. My platoon had got together somehow, and murmurs came to us from the platoons behind us. You know how quickly a rumour will run through a company. Such a rumour now ran through ours. It went from man to man; it came to me at last; it went on ... it got to our Commander. "No. 1 platoon missing!" The C.O. came up to us, struck a match and counted us. Only three platoons—we were a platoon short. The rumour was true! We never saw that platoon again. Its story, as we piece it together from the tales of park-keepers, policemen and other non-combatants, is as follows. It failed to hear the order "About-turn" and marched straight forward. In the Regular Army a combination of obedience with initiative is taught the recruit; we are still at the implicit obedience stage. No. 1 platoon had its orders. It came to some railings three hundred yards further on and climbed over. At the Ornamental Lake it took to the water. The survivors continued the march south. They were seen for a moment at the Marble Arch, and then again at Epsom. Nothing more is known definitely; but a s ecimen of the Cor s bad e has been found on the beach at New Shoreham, and it is su osed.... Well,
well—we shall miss them. These, then, are some of the dangers which we who drill in the evenings face cheerfully. But there are other spirits, less brave but more energetic, who drill in the early mornings. I have been told the hour at which they fall in, and I tried at once to forget it. I am in bed then. But there is, I know, one hero who comes up thirty miles from the country to attend. In order to be there punctually he has to get up three days beforehand each morning, and have his breakfast over-night; but he does it.... And I think the Germans ought to know. However, he and all of us had our reward last Saturday, when we marched down to camp five hundred strong. It was not so much the remarks of the spectators (many of whom foolishly mistook us for Belgian refugees) which flattered us, as the respectful way in which the police held up the traffic to let us pass. Five hundred men take some time passing; to delay for that time the taxi of some impatient War Office official, bulging with critical despatches, gave one an importance never to be acquired in civil life. For a mere editor not even a tricycle would be held up. As I have said, our exact status in the military world was misapprehended by the spectator. It so happened that our more elderly members were on the left or pavement side, and it was from the pavement side that I heard the remark (evidently from one who felt that his relief-fund subscription had not really been wanted), "Well, they don'tlook'ungry." Others on this side surmised that we were suspected waiters rounded up from the different restaurants, and made humorous complaints to us in our late capacities—as that their ice-pudding had been fried too long. But on the road side we did better. Dear ladies, observing only the flower of the Corps (myself and others), took us for the real thing and called down blessings and kisses upon our heads; and for a time we even deceived a small boy who had been watching us eagerly. But only for a time. "Lumme," he said aloud to himself, "there'sanuvver of 'em wiv knock-knees," and disillusionment cannot have been long delayed. It may be admitted that some of the more active ones feel it a little that they have to carry the more elderly ones with them. A suggestion has been made that there should be an age-limit of eighty-five, but I don't know if it will come to anything. Another suggestion is that a special Veterans' Wing should be formed, which, instead of marching, would go out at the week-ends with a couple of cement-hounds, and look for cement foundations. It is felt that the work would be useful and yet not too active. It is in the same spirit that we discuss what will be done with the Corps as a whole when the Germans arrive. The pessimistic view is that we shall be immediately interned by the War Office, to keep us out of trouble. Others, more hopeful, think that we might be kept for "exchanges," in case the enemy make any notable captures. For instance, five of us might be considered the equivalent of an artillery mule; a platoon would balance a Territorial subaltern; and the whole bunch could be offered for (say) the return of the Albert Memorial. But the most popular impression is that we shall be asked to give some sort of display in the centre,in order to lure the Germans on. And while we are forming fours strongly and persistently in front of them ... the real attack (Regulars and Territorials —with rifles) ... will fall suddenly upon their flanks ... and decimate them. So we talk, but at heart we take it seriously; and very seriously and gratefully we take the real soldiers who give up their time to teach us, and do not seem to think that that time will be altogether wasted. A. A. M.
MISTAKEN POLICY. "Thorny Bank." Dear Sir,—I am directed to give you notice that the Vesuvius Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. has lately acquired the freehold of these premises and desires to have the insurance against loss or damage by fire transferred to itself. The premium, at the rate of one shilling and sixpence per cent on their value, is fifteen shillings. Upon receipt of this sum I will give immediate instructions for a policy to be issued and forwarded to you. I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully, D. SMITH, Secy., The Vesuvius Fire Insurance Co., Ltd H. JONES, Esq.
"Thorny Bank." Dear Sir,—In reply to your letter of yesterday, I find that I have an unexpired policy for £1,000 with the Etna, an office which has enjoyed my confidence for many years and in which I have other insurances. Under this policy I am held covered till Lady Day not only against fire, but also against lightning, explosions of gas—most things, in fact, except riots, earthquakes, the King's enemies, aeroplanes and volcanoes. Regretting, therefore, that I am unable to give you the business, because of the more extensive benefits conferred by the Etna.